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IITs tweaking seats for programmes in line with demand

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The Economic Times | Prachi Verma |  Rica Bhattacharyya |   05 May 2015 |
MUMBAI | NEW DELHI: Some of the country’s premier technology institutes are tweaking the number of students in some of their courses, and/or, introducing new or interdisciplinary programmes in keeping with a government directive to plan their courses based on popularity and employability. Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in Delhi and Kanpur, for example, plan to reduce the number of seats in unpopular courses and divert them to popular ones. The latter may even stop its nuclear engineering technology programme due to lack of interest from students. “As the employment opportunities are limited under this programme, we are looking at merging this with mechanical engineering,” said Manindra Agrawal, deputy director at IIT Kanpur . “A call would be taken soon on this,” he said. “Another reason for merging this programme with mechanical engineering is the fact that we have not been able to get teaching faculty,” Agrawal said. IIT Kanpur is also reducing the number of seats in metallurgical engineering, which is not seen to be so popular, and offering as many seats in more popular programmes. The ministry of human resources development (MHRD) recently told all centrally funded technical institutions, including IITs, to close centres and end courses that have seen a decline in the number of applicants in the past three years. The ministry also told them to introduce new courses and disciplines only after analysing market opportunity, employability and requirement of higher education. IITs tweaking seats for programmes in line with demand IIT Delhi is considering lowering the number of seats in some streams in its BTech programmes that are currently not popular. However, the total number of seats under B-Tech at IIT Delhi would not reduce as the institute plans to increase seats in more popular programmes.
“The popularity of a programme much depends on the employment prospects,” said V Ramgopal Rao, director at IIT Delhi. He said the institute does not plan to shut down any centre. An IIT Bombay spokesperson said the issue of revision in seats allocation or closure of any discipline does not arise because all the seats get allotted in the joint counselling process. The institute is considering new programmes in line with government directive. It introduced BSc Economics and PhD in Centre for Policy Studies from the autumn session of 2017. The proposal for new programmes is mooted by the programmes committee of a departments, which, in turn, is examined by the programmes committee of the institute for possible recommendation to the senate. Senate takes the final decision. IIT Madras, too, does not plan to reduce the number of seats in any course or stream. It also has no immediate plans to introduce new programmes, said V Jagadeesh Kumar, dean (academic courses). However, IIT Madras is introducing interdisciplinary dual-degree programmes as an option for existing students to choose. “We also plan to start online MTech programmes for industry personnel,” Kumar said. – Courtesy
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